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Patentes

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Número de publicaciónUS3862607 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación28 Ene 1975
Fecha de presentación17 Dic 1973
Fecha de prioridad17 Dic 1973
Número de publicaciónUS 3862607 A, US 3862607A, US-A-3862607, US3862607 A, US3862607A
InventoresLoudin Blaine H
Cesionario originalVertical Company
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Wire loop hanger for dunnage
US 3862607 A
Resumen
A hanger device for suspending dunnage or the like between transported articles of freight is of the gimbal type which is freely inclinable in any direction relative to the dunnage. The hanger comprises an elongated rod of circular cross-section having a closed loop portion at its longitudinal center which is loosely connected to the dunnage so that oppositely directed arm portions of the hanger will overlie adjacent articles even though the articles are of different heights. The arm portions are prevented from being swung into a position within the lateral confines of the space between the articles unless the hanger is manually rotated about an axis parallel to its longitudinal axis.
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Elite States Patent [1 1 Loudin Jan. 28, 1975 [73] Assignee: The Vertical Company, Englewood,

[22] Filed: Dec. 17, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 425,500

[52] US. Cl. 105/486, 24/73 CP [51] Int. Cl. 361d 45/00 [58] Field of Search... 105/367, 368, 369 B, 369 A, 105/369 S; 52/484; 248/359, 360, 317, 302;

24/73 CF, 261 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,618,535 11/1971 Hees 105/369 B FORElGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 513,961 12/1930 Germany 24/73 CP Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Gene A. Church Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Burton, Crandcll & Polumbus [57] ABSTRACT A hanger device for suspending dunnage or the like between transported articles of freight is of the gimbal type which is freely in'clinable in any direction relative to the dunnage. The hanger comprises an elongated rod of circular cross-section having a closed loop portion at its longitudinal center which is loosely connected to the dunnage so that oppositely directed arm portions of the hanger will overlie adjacent articles even though the articles are of different heights. The arm portions are prevented from being swung into a position within the lateral confines of the space between the articles unless the hanger is manually rotated about an axis parallel to its longitudinal axis.

8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WIRE LOOP HANGER FOR DUNNAGE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates generally to dunnage load spacers for filling void spaces between articles of freight and more particularly to a hanger for suspending dunnage from the top surface of the articles of freight.

2. Description of the Prior Art Dunnage in the form of vertically suspended buffering material is commonly used in the space between articles of freight to protect the articles during transportation. The buffering material has taken various forms and is normally suspended by a hanger element which is supported by the upper surface of the articles. A typical example of a spacer device of the aforementioned type is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,593,671 ofGlenn D. Bramlett wherein an expandable honeycomb structure of corrugated paper board is suspended between a load and an adjacent surface in a freight carrier by a rigid hanger element which is pivotal in a horizontal plane into overlying relationship with the load and adjacent surface. A similar load spacer device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,618,535 issued to Ronald D. l-lees. Another spacer device disclosed for use between blocks of ice is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 1,756,706, issued to O. Strufe.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The hanger device of the present invention is adapted to retain dunnage or similar buffering material between transported articles of freight. The hanger device is particularly well suited for suspending an expandable dunnage separator in the vertical space between adjacent articles but could also be utilized to fill the horizontal space between transported articles by vertically spacing the articles. The hanger is designed to serve as a gimbal relative to the dunnage material so that it can be made to overlie adjacent articles regardless of their relative heights and suspend the dunnage material from the upper surfaces of the articles.

In one preferred form of the hanger, it comprises an elongated rod of circular transverse cross-section having a closed loop portion at its longitudinal center and oppositely directed arm portions extending away from the closed loop portion. The closed loop portion of the hanger is loosely connected to the underlying dunnage material in a manner so as to impose inherent limits on the movement of the hanger so that the arm portion of the hanger will not be shifted into a position within the lateral confines of the space between the articles unless the hanger is manually manipulated to overcome the limits. In other words, the hanger and its connection to the dunnage are designed so that there are inherent limitations imposed on the movement capabilities of the hanger relative to the dunnage to prevent the hanger from being jostled during transportion into a position where it is no longer supported by the articles allowing the dunnage to be dropped out of its protective relationship with the adjacent articles.

The closed loop portion and the arm portions of the hanger lie within a common plane and the hanger is connected to the underlying dunnage by a connector element which passes through the closed loop and defines a passage which is directed toward the adjacent articles. The common plane of the arms and the closed loop portion lie in a substantially verticle plane, with the arms overlying the transported articles, when the hanger is in use so that opposite ends of the connector element impose natural limits on the horizontal swinging movement of the hanger. Also, since the hanger is of circular transverse cross-section the contact between the hanger and the adjacent articles is minimized allowing the hanger to partially embed itself in relatively soft articles so that it is more positively seated to prevent movement.

When it is desired to fold the entire spacer device. including the hanger and the dunnage material, into a compact unit, for example, when the spacer device is not in use, it is preferable that the hanger be moved into alignment with the underlying dunnage material and in a position where it lies within the lateral confines of the dunnage material. To overcome the aforementioned limits of movement so that the hanger can be moved into position within the lateral confines of the dunnage material, it is simply necessary to rotate the hanger about an axis parallel to the arm portions of the hanger so that the closed loop portion of the hanger will partially advance through the passage defined by the connector element and allow the arm portions of the hanger to be moved into longitudinal alignment with the dunnage material.

Accordingly, it will be apparent that the hanger device of the present invention will readily adapt. to articles of different heights, will inherently embed itself in articles which are soft relative to the hanger and will impose inherent limitations on horizontal swinging movement of the hanger so that unless the device is manually manipulated, it will be prevented from moving to a position wherein the opposing arm portions thereof are within the lateral confines of the space between the articles of freight in which position it could allow the dunnage to drop through the space out of its protective relationship with the articles.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved hanger device for dunnage utilized in spacing transported articles.

lt is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger device which serves as a gimbal in suspending dunnage material between transported articles.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger for dunnage used in spacing transported articles which accommodates itself to adjacent articles of different heights.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger device for dunnage used to separate transported articles which is connected to the dunnage so as to impose inherent limits on swinging movement of the hanger relative to the dunnage whereby the hanger will naturally remain in overlying relationship with adjacent transported articles.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger device for dunnage of the type which is adapted to be suspended between transported articles wherein the hanger will normally remain in overlying relationship with adjacent articles but can be manually manipulated to lie within the lateral confines of the dunnage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention supporting dunnage between adjacent articles of freight.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention attached to the top layer of dunnage material and with the oppositely directed arm portions of the hanger being directed transversely of the dunnage material.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention attached to dunnage material and lying within the lateral confines of the dunnage material.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention attached to dunnage material in a different way from that illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3 and with the oppositely directed arms of the hanger extending in overlying relationship with adjacent articles of freight.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention attached to the dunnage as in FIG. 4 and with the oppositely directed arms of the hanger lying within the lateral confines of the dunnage material.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the hanger device of the present invention connected to the underlying dunnage material as in FIG. 4 and with the oppositely directed arms of the hanger extending in overlying relationship with adjacent articles of freight which are of different heights.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, a spacer device 10 utilizing the hanger 12 of the present invention is shown filling the vertical space between adjacent box-like articles 14 of freight. It will be appreciated, however, with the description hereinafter, that the spacer device 10 could also be used to fill a horizontal space between similar articles of freight. The spacer device includes a buffering element 16 which is preferably large enough to fill the space between the articles to prevent the articles from becoming engaged, and the hanger element 12 of the present invention which is connected to the top of the buffering element 16 so that the buffering element is suspended therefrom.

The buffering element 16 could be of any suitable type to cushion movement of the articles toward each other during transportation, but in the preferred form, the buffering element is an expandable honeycomb structure fabricated from corrugated paperboard having a width substantially equal to the desired space between the articles and having an expanded height sufficient to extend from the top to the bottom of the articles. Of course, the length of the honeycomb buffering element is preferably approximately equal to the length of the articles so that the entire space between the articles is covered by the buffering element. As seen best in FIGS. 2 and 3, an elongated rectangular reinforcement strip of material 18, which is rigid relative to the paperboard honeycomb core material and may be, for example, a conventional wooden lath, is bonded or otherwise secured to the top surface of the paperboard honeycomb material. The rigid strip 18 facilitates positive connection of the hanger 12 to the buffering element 16 as will be fully explained later.

The hanger element 12 which is best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 consists of an elongated rod of circular crosssection which passes through a circular bend at its approximate longitudinal center to define a closed ringlike loop portion 20 and straight oppositely directed arm portions 22 lying in the same plane with the closed loop portion. The rod is preferably of a relatively rigid material which will retain the desired configuration after having been formed and will support the underlying buffering element 16 when in use. As shown in FIG. 1, it is preferable, but not necessary, that at least two of the hangers 12 be connected to the buffering element 16 at spaced location to assure that the buffering element will be properly positioned at all times between articles.

In the preferred form, the hanger 12 is connected to the buffering element by a staple or other similar connector 24 which is passed through the closed loop portion 20 of the hanger and partially embedded in the relatively rigid strip 18 across the top of the buffering element so as to define a passage therethrough. The staple is positioned to extend longitudinally of the buffering element 16 so that the passage is directed transversely of the buffering element. The depth of the passage through the connector 24 is sufficiently greater than the diameter of the rod from which the hanger 12 is made so that the hanger is loosely disposed in the passage and is thereby free to be inclined in any direction. Accordingly, the hanger when connected to the buffering element in this manner, serves as a gimbal so that regardless of the height of the adjacent articles 14 between which the spacer device 12 is utilized, the oppositely directed arm portions 22 of the hanger can be made to overlie the top surface of the articles and thereby be supported by the articles.

When the spacer device 10 is in use, and the buffering element 16 is suspended from the hanger, the hanger 12 will assume the position shown in FIG. 2 wherein the common plane of the loop portion 20 and the oppositely directed arm portions 22 is substantially vertical. In this position, it will be appreciated that the connector 24 will impose limits on horizontal swinging movement of the arm portions since opposite sides of the closed loop portion of the hanger will engage opposite ends of the connector as it is moved in either a horizontal clockwise or counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2. The arm portions 22 of the hanger are long enough so that even at the limits of their horizontal swinging movement they will still overlie portions of the adjacent articles. It will, therefore, be appreciated that as long as the common plane of the closed loop portion 20 and arm portions 22 of the hanger'is in a substantially vertical orientation, the arm portions cannot be moved within the lateral confines of the buffering element or the space between the elements. Accordingly, the connection of the hanger to the buffering element imposes limits on the horizontal movement of the hanger which prevent it from being jostled during transportation of the freight articles to a position wherein it no longer supports the buffering element. It can, therefore, be appreciated that once the spacer device 12 has been placed in position between adjacent articles of freight, the user can be confident that thespacer device will remain in position and that the adjacent articles will thereby be protected. It should also be noted that since the hanger is made of a rod having a circular cross-section, the engagement of the arm por' tions 22 of the hanger with the adjacent articles is'minimal. In fact, the engagement is merely along a straight line so that if the adjacent articles are of a soft material relative to the hanger, such as paperboard, the weight of the spacer device will cause the arm portions to partially embed in the adjacent articles and thereby be positively positioned relative thereto and prevented from movement out of this position.

During transportation or shipment of the spacer devices themselves, it is desirable that they be collapsed or folded into compact units, FIG. 3, so as to not occupy unnecessary space. Accordingly, it is desirable that not only the buffering elements 16 be collapsible into a compact solid rectangular form as occurs when the honeycomb core structure illustrated is collapsed, but it is also desirable that the hanger 12 be movable into a position within the lateral confines of the buffering element, As mentioned previously, when the hanger is oriented as shown in FIG. 2 with the closed loop portion and the arms lying within a common vertical plane, the arm portions 22 of the hanger cannot be moved to a position within the lateral confines of the buffering element 16, but if the arm portions of the hanger are rotated about an axis parallel thereto, so that the common plane of the arms and the closed loop portion 20 lies in a substantially horizontal plane parallel to the top surface of the buffering element, the closed loop portion of the hanger can be advanced through the passage in the connector 24 until the arms of the hanger lie substantially parallel to the length of the buffering element and within its lateral confines. Accordingly, while the hanger is designed so that when it is in use, the arms will be retained in overlying relationship with the adjacent articles of freight, it can be manually manipulated to lie within the lateral confines of the buffering element to facilitate shipping of the spacer devices themselves.

A second embodiment of a spacer device utilizing the hanger of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 4 through 6 with like parts having been given like reference numerals with a prime suffix. In this embodiment, the buffering element 16' is again preferably a honeycomb core structure fabricated from corrugated paperboard and has an elongated relatively rigid reinforcement strip 18' or the like bonded to its upper surface. The hanger element 12' utilized in the second embodiment is identical to the hanger element utilized in the first described embodiment but rather than being connected to the underlying buffering element by a staplelike connector, the connector 26 is in a physical form identical to the hanger element 12 with the oppositely directed arm portions thereof extending along the length of the reinforcement strip 18 and being affixed thereto in any suitable manner, such as by adhesive bonding, stapling, or the like. The connector element 26 is positioned so that the closed loop portion 28 at its longitudinal center extends vertically upwardly and in a plane extending along the length of the reinforcement stri lrthis manner, when the closed loop portions 28 and 20 of the connector element and the hanger respectively are in interlocking relationship, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 6, and the common plane containing the closed loop portion and arm portion of the hanger I2 is vertically oriented, the arm portions 22 of the hanger will be limited in horizontal swinging movement, as mentioned in regard to the first described embodiment, so that the arm portions cannot be moved within the lateral confines of the buffering element. However, by rotating the hanger element about an axis parallel to the arm portions thereof, so that the common plane of the closed loop portion 20 and arm portions 22' of the hanger is horizontally oriented, the arm portions of the hanger will lie within the lateral confines of the buffering element as illustrated in FIG. 5.

Referring to FIG. 6, the advantages obtained by utilizing a gimbal-type hanger are illustrated. It can be seen in FIG. 6 that the articles 14' of freight which are separated by the spacer device are of different heights so that the arm portions 22' of the hanger must be inclined in order to overlie the adjacent articles and properly suspend the spacer device from the upper surface of the articles.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.

What is claimed is:

l. A spacer device for filling the vertical space between adjacent transported articles comprising:

a buffering element adapted to be suspended between said adjacent articles, and a gimbal suspension means connected to an upper surface of said buffering element and adapted to overlie said adjacent articles, said gimbal suspension means comprising a body having a centrally positioned loop portion which is loosely connected to the upper surface of the buffering element so that the gimbal can be inclined in any direction without movement of the buffering element, and

elongated oppositely directed arm portions integrally connected by the loop portion and wherein said arm portions are adapted to overlie and rest on the upper surface of the adjacent articles thereby to support said buffering element between said arti cles.

2. The spacer device of claim 1 wherein said loop portion and arm portions lie within a common plane and said gimbal is connected to the buffering element by a connector element defining a closed passage above the upper surface of the buffering element with the passage through the connector element being directed transversely of the buffering element and toward the adjacent articles so that when the loop and arm portions of the gimbal lie in a common vertical plane, the gimbal is prevented from being moved to a position wherein it is totally within the lateral confines of the space between the adjacent articles.

3. The spacer device of claim 2 wherein the upper surface of the buffering element is defined by a planar portion which is relatively hard in comparison to the remainder of the buffering element and into which the connector element is partially embedded to positively secure the gimbal to the buffering element.

4. The spacer device of claim I, further including a connector member affixed to the upper surface of said buffering element, said connector member having an upstanding closed loop which is interlocked with the loop portion of said gimbal.

5. The spacer device of claim 4 wherein the closed loop on the connector element and the loop portion of the gimbal are disposed in substantially perpendicular relationship when the arm portions of the gimbal are directed laterally of the space between said articles.

6. The spacer device of claim wherein said connector element and gimbal are structurally identical and wherein the arm portions of the connector element are rigidly affixed to the upper surface of the buffering element.

7. A spacer device for filling an elongated vertical space between transported articles comprising:

a buffering element adapted to be suspended between adjacent articles, and

elongated suspension means connected to the upper surface of said buffering element, said suspension means being adapted to extend over the adjacent articles to be supported thereby. the connection of the suspension means to the buffering element being such that the suspension means cannot be moved from its normal suspension position wherein it overlies the adjacent articles into a position within the lateral confines of the vertical space without first pivoting the suspension means about an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the suspension means.

8. A spacer device for filling an elongated vertical space between transported box-like articles having flat opposing faces on opposite sides of the space comprising:

a paperboard, vertically expandable honeycomb structure having a thin elongated wooden strip across its top surface, said structure being adapted to fill the space between said articles with the wooden strip near the top surface of said articles and extending longitudinally of said space.

suspension means comprised of an elongated rigid rod of circular transverse cross-section, said rod having a ring-like closed loop at its approximate longitudinal center with a pair of straight arm portions extending in opposite directions from said closed loop so as to lie in the same plane therewith. and

a generally inverted U-shaped connector extending through said loop and being partially embedded in said wooden strip to define a closed passage above said strip opening transversely of the strip, said connector loosely connecting the elongated rod to the strip so that said rod is free to be inclined relative to said strip and so that the arms of said strip will normally extend across the tops of the adjacent articles to be supported thereby and cannot be moved within the lateral confines of said space without rotating the arms about an axis parallel thereto to move the closed loop of said rod into substantially parallel relationship with said wooden strip.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US3618535 *26 Jul 19689 Nov 1971Narad IncSuspended load spacer
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US4300864 *5 Dic 197917 Nov 1981Angleboard Inc.Freestanding honeycomb load spacer
US4349303 *13 Sep 197914 Sep 1982Angleboard Inc.Load spacer
US5062751 *13 Mar 19915 Nov 1991Shippers Paper Products CompanyEconomy void filler
US5171114 *25 Jul 199115 Dic 1992Union Camp CorporationExpandable load spacer
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.410/155, 410/154
Clasificación internacionalB61D45/00
Clasificación cooperativaB61D45/006
Clasificación europeaB61D45/00C